Denise Willis
Denise Willis.jpg
Denise Willis
Notability: Main character
Type: Murder victim
Gender: Female
Location: Ruggsville, Texas
Known relatives: Donald Willis [1]
Status: Deceased
1st appearance: House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
Actor: Erin Daniels

Denise Willis is a fictional character and one of four primary victims targeted by the Firefly clan of Deadwood in the movie House of 1000 Corpses. Played by actress Erin Daniels, she is the last of the four to be killed in the film.

Biography[edit | edit source]

In October of 1977, Denise Willis, a level-headed woman and daughter of an ex-cop accompanied her friends, Mary Knowles, Jerry Goldsmith and Bill Hudley on an ill-fated cross-country expedition documenting obscure roadsi

Denise with her family.

de attractions. Their journey brought them to a small horror-themed gas stop and eatery called Captain Spaulding's Museum of Monsters and Madmen. Denise had little interest in exploring the bizarre establishment, but was cajoled into going inside and even partaking in Captain Spaulding's underground "Murder Ride". During the ride, they learned of a local urban legend about a crazed killer named Doctor Satan. Spaulding gave the group directions to where Doctor Satan was allegedly hung and they began driving down the road during a storm after Denise rang up and told her father they would be running late.

Along the way, they picked up a hitchiker, Baby Firefly, to Denise's reluctance and later got stranded when their car tire was blown out. Baby invited them back to her farmhouse, promising that her brother Rufus would be able to fix their car. Rufus towed them back to the house, and Denise, like the others, was forced to endure an extremely uncomfortable dinner with Baby's family, which included Mother Firefly, Grandpa Hugo, Tiny Firefly and the depraved Otis B. Driftwood, who all have a strange obsession with Halloween. During their stay, Denise insists on being given a phone to call her father about the situation but the family basically ignore the request, Mother Firefly later claiming they don't have one.

That evening, the Fireflys put on a show for the teens that Denise and Mary did not enjoy mostly due to the immature sexual jokes. After M

Denise and her friend, Mary, being stalked by the Fireflys.

ary snapped at Baby for flirting with Bill during her singing performance, they tried to leave when the car was fixed, but Otis and Tiny attacked them. Denise and Mary locked themselves in the car, but Tiny smashed his way through a window and pulled a terrified Denise out of the car despite Mary trying to pull her back. Tiny's massive size and grip made it almost impossible for Denise to resist while being dragged back to the house as Otis dealt with the rest and Bill would be murdered shortly afterwards. Denise passed out due to extreme horror and her torture was to be a humiliating one, The lady Fireflys choosing to play dress up with her, removing her clothes to dress her more appropriately for halloween into a costume Baby had in her collection. Denise's cold weather clothes would have likely been added to their hoarding collection of victim belongings as she is put into a short checked doll dress, high ribbed socks, Mary jane shoes, heavy makeup then having her hair tied into pigtails. Denise was to be a sex slave for Tiny and was bedbound in his room.

Denise, all dressed up for halloween.

She woke up the next morning after having a surreal dream and gazed at all the toys around her which explained that her doll look is to reflect on his childhood. The enormous Tiny attempted to feed her, but she refused to eat and begged him to let her go. Instead of taking advantage of her, the mute misanthrope complied, but her freedom was only momentary as Otis came seconds later, recaptured and locked her in a cage with other captured women given to Tiny in the past that presumably raped her due to insanity.

That same day, Denise’s father, Donald Willis had grown concerned that he had not heard from his daughter. He contacted the county sheriff’s department who promptly started a search for the missing youths. Donald and the officers found the Firefly house but Otis killed Donald by shooting him in the back while the officers met their fate. He then skinned the elderly man and used the flesh from his face, chest and shoulders to create a macabre Halloween costume.

That night, Denise, who is now groggy from suffering in the cage and probably being subjected to more humiliation concerning her forced halloween costume was brought to the living room with her friends, in which were all then made to wear adult-sized rabbit costumes. Otis descended the staircase wearing her father’s skin chanting “Who’s yer Daddy?” Denise recoiled in terror as Otis began kissing her face through the mask.

The family then brought Denise, Mary and Jerry to a nearby cemetery; ironically, the same graveyard where Doctor Satan was presumed to be buried. Mary tried to escape, but Baby Firefly caught up with her and stabbed her to death.

Denise and Jerry were tossed into a coffin then lowered into a deep hole which led into a series of labyrinthine tunnels. A horde of bizarre, subterranean mutants descended upon them, pulling the wooden slats of the coffin apart. Jerry was taken away by the mutants while Denise managed to get away from them. She scrambled through the tunnels where she was approached by a strange man who is a previous victim that survived and suffers an obsession to have a rabbit costume, so he violently stripped Denise down to her dress, taking the costume for himself. She soon entered the corridor exiting into what appeared to be a doctor’s waiting room, occupied by more hideously deformed men. Avoiding these men, she pressed onward and found herself in the operating room of Doctor Satan. Doctor Satan was no mere urban legend, nor was he dead. Clad in a strange body harness, he was in the middle of performing exploratory brain surgery on Jerry Goldsmith. Doctor Satan motioned to his attendant, the Professor to take care of Denise. The Professor was a huge man with burns all across his body

Denise discovers the horrifying secrets of the house.

who wore night vision goggles and wielded a large ax. Denise turned and ran out of the room, but the Professor chased after her, Denise scrambling through the tightened corridors of the mine shaft with the Professor hot on her heels. Denise reached a dead end as the Professor caught up to her and as a last effort for survival, she picked up a two by four to defend herself. He swung his ax at her but missed, striking a support beam, which caused a section of the shaft to collapse down on top of him.

Denise managed to dig her way to the surface and escape into the morning sun. Bloodied and weak, she stumbled through the field out onto the highway. Captain Spaulding picked her up in his convertible and she insisted to be taken to a doctor, but it was all a setup and Otis was in the back seat. they brought her back to Doctor Satan's lair with Doctor Satan operating on her where the Professor was also waiting, having survived the shaft collapse. The final fate of Denise Willis is unknown, but she is presumed deceased.

It's possible if Tiny accepted Denise; instead of being taken to the cemetery, she would have remained at the house to be further tormented by the Fireflys for as long as they wanted while living in the cage alongside the other women given to Tiny.

Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The character of Denise Willis was created by writer and director Rob Zombie.
  • Denise Willis may have been romantically connected to Jerry Goldsmith though this is never demonstrated in detail in the film.
  • Although Denise received the least amount of screen time early in the film, she proved to endure far longer than any of the other victims.
  • The stuntman who played the Professor had difficulty seeing through his goggles and nearly hit Erin Daniels with his ax. The item he was wielding was a real ax and not a prop. [2]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Father; deceased.
  2. Rob Zombie; House of 1000 Corpses; DVD director's commentary; 2004

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